AT the 2015 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards, Luke Dale-Roberts’s The Test Kitchen has yet again garnered the top industry accolades.
A team of top culinary judges, headed by chief judge and editor of Eat Out, Abigail Donnelly, voted The Test Kitchen as Restaurant of the Year for the fourth consecutive year. The awards were held today at SunExhibits Centre at GrandWest in Cape Town, at a glorious Sunday luncheon extravaganza where the who’s who of the South Africa culinary industry congregated for an afternoon of fine food and illustrious awards.
It has been a remarkable year for Dale-Roberts and his dedicated team headed by Chef Ivor Jones at this gourmet destination, situated in the achingly cool industrial area of Woodstock in Cape Town. Not only was The Test Kitchen placed 44th in the Elite Traveler Top 100 Restaurants 2015, ranked number 22 in TripAdvisor’s 2015 Traveller’s Choice Awards on the list of its 25 Best Fine Dining Restaurants but it was awarded no.28 spot in the World’s Best Restaurant Awards as well as named winner of its Continental Restaurant Awards: Best Restaurant in Africa. All in all, a staggering amount of achievements in a year.
Dale-Roberts is understandably proud of his Eat Out award this year. “The team has truly been consolidated this year. We have been extremely busy but still our values of creation, development and the evolution of food and service are still at the core of what we do,” he enthuses. And this shows. Dale-Roberts experiments and creates with technical precision, a clear love of South African produce and there’s a playful touch in his creations too. But flavour is always paramount. In addition to Ivor Jones as head chef in the kitchen, bringing new ideas to the table, so to speak, Tinashe Nyamudoka has recently joined the team as head sommelier, adding renewed vigour to the wine offering.
The experience at The Test Kitchen is not only about the food and wine. The interiors and décor play a huge part in the diners’ experience, custom-made installations by artist Mark Rautenbach investigate the relationship between fire, food and alchemy; bespoke ceramics by John Bauer add depth and interest to tableware; while Dale-Roberts’s wife Sandalene pushes the envelope with edgy furnishings and table runners.
Collaboration is clearly the key to the success of The Test Kitchen, where Dale-Roberts has firmly made his mark locally and internationally on the gourmet scene.
For his latest venture, Dale-Roberts will launch the pop-up restaurant “Luke Dale-Roberts at the Saxon” on 21 January 2016 at the Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa in Sandton, Gauteng. It will be open for dinner only and will run until the end of March 2016.
The Test Kitchen is located at Shop 105a, The Old Biscuit Mill, 375 Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town. To book your table call (27) (21) 447 2337, email [email protected] or book online via www.thetestkitchen.co.za. Opening hours: Lunch Tuesday to Saturday: 12.30pm to 2pm and dinner from Tuesday to Saturday: 7pm to 9.30pm.